Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, March 8, 2020 ACHD's Road Wizard

Westbound I-184/ Cole Road Exit

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: The I-184 westbound exit to Cole and the mall's east entrance is DANGEROUS. The lanes don't match up with the receiving lanes on the west side of the intersection. I've noticed the benefits of this change a few years ago so the right turn lane onto Cole Road clears much faster with far less backups onto the interstate ramp. However, literally EVERY TIME I use this exit, I have a near miss of a sideswipe because drivers in the right hand through lane think they are able to turn left on the mall property. I've been flipped off, road raged, stalked through the parking lot...like it's MY fault for being in the left through lane to turn left/south.

Possible solutions could include redoing the signs to show a slight jog or zigzag in the through lanes, or possibly having additional clarification for which lane is for right and left once on the mall property. Or, although more costly, reconfigure the mall entrance to line up the lanes correctly. Thanks for looking into this!

Amy

Road Wizard:

This was featured in the Road Wizard in 2016 from someone who voiced similar concerns.

Four years ago, ACHD consulted with ITD prior to their pavement overlay on the ramp. Collectively, the two entities felt the new lane configuration served traffic more efficiently based on turn counts for the majority of the calendar year (it used to be, as you mentioned, an exclusive left turn with a through lane and a shared through/right turn lane). Two lanes proceed across the intersection today (as they once did), though now the left lane shares the through lane and the right lane is a right-turn-only lane.

All items referenced in the column were completed as promised. ACHD crews enhanced lane tracking across the intersection with a plastic, more durable material and mall property management refreshed the striping on the west leg of the intersection. Unfortunately, rougher winters can take a toll on striping, including roads where the District has no maintenance responsibility. Fortunately, the more durable material has held up very well over the years.

ACHD performed observations in April 2017 to investigate vehicles potentially slaloming across Cole. Observations showed some misdirection by westbound traffic, but not enough to cause significant alarm. The signal heads are appropriately aligned, though District staff considered reorienting them to the right to account for the shift through the intersection. Doing so would mean the left/through lane signal head would be well out of the field of vision from oncoming vehicles, which could cause another set of entirely unrelated issues associated with the lack of signal head visibility. District staff sent an email to Towne Square Mall management regarding lack of lane-marking visibility on the east leg of the intersection, and they were eventually refreshed later that summer, though they have since faded and could stand to be refreshed again.

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